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Brain Res. 1997 Jul 11;762(1-2):121-30.

Both high- and low voltage-activated calcium currents contribute to the light-evoked responses of luminosity horizontal cells in the Xenopus retina.

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Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016, USA.


We examined the contribution of two intrinsic voltage-dependent calcium channels to the light-evoked responses of a non-spiking retinal neuron, the horizontal cell (HC). HC's isolated from the Xenopus retina were studied by the whole cell version of the patch clamp. In a mixture of agents which suppressed Na- and K-dependent currents, we identified a transient, low voltage-activated Ca current suppressed by Ba2+ and blocked by Ni2+ (T-type) and a sustained, high voltage-activated, dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca current that was enhanced by Ba2+ (L-type). We made simultaneous intracellular recordings from rods and HC's in the intact, dark-adapted Xenopus retina. Under certain stimulus conditions, transient oscillations appeared in HC responses but were absent in rod light-evoked waveforms. One type of transient was seen at relatively hyperpolarized potentials (< -45 mV), was enhanced by Sr2+ and inhibited by Ni2+. It thus appears to depend on a T-type Ca-current. A second type of oscillation was seen to be superimposed on a prolonged depolarizing wave following light off in the HC and as spike-like depolarizations in rods. These oscillations were enhanced by Ba2+ and Sr2+, but blocked by the dihydropyridine, nifedipine, indicating their dependence on an L-type calcium conductance. All calcium-dependent oscillations were suppressed by 0.05-0.5 mM Co2+. Suppression of glutamate neurotransmission with CNQX or kynurenate, or glycine neurotransmission with strychnine, enhanced the HC oscillations.

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